Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adding Meaning to Thanksgiving: Engage With Grace

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering, for communing, and for taking time together with friends and family to share our thoughts about the things that matter to us. 

Imagine if around the table this year you discussed a tricky, yet truly important issue: end of life planning. 

Why would you do that? 

Because 73 percent of Americans would prefer to die at home, but anywhere between 20-50 percent die in hospital settings. But the treatment we receive at the end of our lives doesn't have to be left up to our loved ones. We can decide and make our wishes known.

Only by talking with one another can we let it be known what we want at the end of our lives and learn the preferences of our loved ones. To guide your conversation you can print out this one slide (pictured) from Engage With Grace. Its five questions are a wonderful way to start. 

The National Institute on Aging also has information to help your discussion. This weekend, speak up and give your family the information that will reduce their burden in their time of sorrow. 


Unknown said...

Eve, I tried to introduce the topic at Thanksgiving, engaging in a tactic I thought was a bit subtle (asking other family members to sign as witnesses to my advance directives).

The response? "That's too depressing to think about on a holiday."

Eve Harris said...

Nuts, I'm sorry that happened to you. Perhaps you can take some comfort in knowing a) your OWN wishes have been recorded; b) you are being a role model